It is almost as if it is cupped in celestial hands, with the plains that spread beautifully beneath it; a mere first sight of Assisi is enough to blow your mind. The pitter patter of the footsteps on stoned paths and the true spirit of the saints that guards the Town, this city is almost a dreamy sequence of events happening around. Being the birthplace of St. Francis and St. Clare, the founder of Poor Sisters, the Saint Gabriel of the Lady of sorrows were all also born here, making this city a saintly place to be in. It was then in around 1000 BC that a wave of immigrants settled in the upper valley of the Tiber region and started stretching as far as the sea making it one of the most well flourished areas of the country.
Though they started with the settlements of the Umbrian settlements, it was later taken by the Romans and the influence of the Roman architecture can be found on the culture and architecture of the whole place. The walls of the city, a theatre of the roman style and a Roman villa containing several preserved rooms is the proof of the Roman influence in Italy. Though Assisi has also been hit by many earthquakes, the recovery and restoration of the city have been remarkably quick, removing all traces of destruction and damages. Though the major damage was done to the Basilica di San Francesco, it did open just two years later. With a rich cultural heritage the city has a lot to offer in terms of festivals and celebrations. The most vibrant is the Festival Calendimaggio held every year between the 1st and 5th of May, and is considered to be a reenactment of the life during the medieval and renaissance periods. Lined with processions, theatre festivals and a whole city fest, this is the most joyous time to be spent in the city.
When To Go:
The weather conditions in Assisi are pleasant throughout the year. The lowest it would dip in the winters is to a range of just 30 degrees and the higher range could be touching 45. However, at 1500 feet above the sea level, you may just want to carry a sweater in your bag for the nights in summer too. Late spring and moving into early falls happens to be the best time to visit Assisi. These months also correlate to slower tourist footfall meaning that you would not have to encounter a crowded city and full booked hotels. Another reason why you should not be travelling to Assisi in August is the Festival called Ferragosto or the celebration of the summer feast which makes the entire country shut down around the second week of August. Almost a sort of an annual vacation for all!
Here are the top
things to do
in the city of Assisi:
Basilica di San Francesco
There is a crypt and beneath the crypt is the tomb of St. Francis! A thrilling sight to see such amazing architecture that literally made the city live around it. It was St. Francis who made the city by settling in and is also the birthplace of many other Saints. . Even if there is the peak of the tourist season, it does not have mad crowds trying to get in. With selection to the most intriguing types of artifacts and architecture, this pace is rich in cultural treasures and makes sure that you stay hooked in the basilica for the entire day.
In fact, one day is too short a duration to explore this place. A gem in this history, this
Basilica di San Frenceso
was the worst hit in the quakes of 2007 and has been completely restored just like what it was. The major attraction of the churches is the building itself. Once you enter, the magnificent structure and grandeur cannot be missed. Even better is the positioning and crafting of the altars. Though most of the art work is religious, you cannot stop but admire the piece of artworks and the intricacy with which they have been made. This is not just a church but a store of so much energy and color, that once you are out of it, you feel so re-energized and freshened up. Just the perfect start to the tour if you have arrived in Assisi!
Though it does sound a bit unusual, but Assisi is famous for tits stones and gems and though there are many places you can pick up shining, gleaming stones from, this is one place which has everything. All the gems and stones can be found here. The best part about visiting this place is the informative display besides each exhibit. While we look at them they must just look like regular stones, but a round through this place and you would know that each stone is so different and versatile.
Almost like making you believe that there are mysteries attached to these stones as well. It is not only about what they sell, how they sell also makes a lot of difference to the experience. With a staff ready to assist you in any possible way,
is just the perfect location for you to be in if you want to feel pampered and spoilt for a customer. Authenticity is the repute and you would not have felt as satisfied as a customer before as you would once you visit here.
Everyone is harping about this bar that has opened up in Assisi. They talk of sample tastings and the best menu in the world. One evening spent at
will have you join the crowd and scream that this undoubtedly is the best bar you may have ever been to. Colorful, antique and modern, this bar can help you with the best wines in the world and the service is just outstanding.
The staff is very helpful as far understanding the wines are concerned and they also have elaborate section on the local Vini which is another experimental sport you should be definitely trying. The
is beautifully situated amidst lush green surroundings and is easily accessible by foot and local transport both. For the convenience of the customers, they also have introduced multilingual menus to make it easier for the customer to understand what he or she is ordering. Soothing music to calm your nerve, just the perfect shade of light and the best food and drinks in the country make this place the best bar in and around Assisi.
La Mela in Tasca
This is not ordinary. The warmth of the owner who runs this place along with her pet dog that keep licking you to welcome you is what made this place the cutest store in town. You will first acknowledge the presence of rare items in the shops. Designs that you may have not seen before! It is then you realize that these things are basically for decorating homes and shops. Colorful looking, traditional and vibrant, these items are a steal for sure. The display is awesome with customers being allowed a visual treat to almost all the sides of the store.
Also important is the fact that this store lies in the heart of the city. Whether it is the higher end of the tourist season, or the lean period, this store is always full. You would either find the locals and the natives chit chatting and buying things or the tourists curiously looking at the objects and making their choices. In either case, this shop has something for everyone.
La mela in Tasca
is a superb collection of funny and intricately crafted things to beautify your home and surrounds and if you can carry some additional weight back home, then surely pick a few things from here. What you can buy from here, you may not find anywhere else in the world!
Azienda Agraria Saio
Lush Green is the best way to describe this place. On one hand, they have a beautiful lounge where in you can sit and relish almost all the wines that you have around this place. The wine tasting activity is the most elaborate and detailed here with the staff helping you with the history, the facts and the richness of the wines you are about to taste. The place is tremendously comfortable, making you want to extend your stay by a few hours and enjoy and relax while you are being presented with the best wines around.
Even sparkling is the cutlery which will immediately catch your attention. The silverware, beautiful crystalware and the presentation of the serving will make you want to enjoy your time to the fullest. After the wine tasting at the
Azienda Agraria Saio
finishes, you are helped to a guided tour of the vineyards that belong to this property. Luckily if you happen to visit this place while it is in full bloom, you will be able to witness the beauty and symmetry of nature. Each of the leaves and the fruits seem to be anew with life and juicy freshness. Huge sprawling landscapes make the visit even worthwhile. What is better is the view of Assisi from this place. A definite visit for those who enjoy wine and for people like me who love having their wines in the lap of nature!
Umbria by Bikes
If you have wanted to explore the rawness of this area, then a bike is what you need. And the best tours of this region are planned on the bikes by the various tour operators of the city, making sure that you see each and every corner worth a mention. The bikes that are easily available on rent are the best ones to use and they do not tire you even after hours of you riding it. As a whole Assisi has a huge bike culture in the city and people prefer bikes more than the cars. So meet a tour operator and hire a bike depending upon the time leverage that you have.
Pedal on and you would be able to discover Assisi in a way which is not possible by moving around in vehicles.
Umbria by Bikes
is owned by Francesco who is a good humored man and caters to all needs of the travelers. Ensuring the safety of the bikers he does also have the best bike gears and bikes available. Warm and friendly he might even invite you to his place. The warmth of his family and the lovely fragrance of the cakes being baked will thrill you no end. Just the way to make your body work out, while you are busy enjoying the nature at Umbria!
Amori Travel – Tour of Assisi in Segway
Segways are interesting just when you look at them. Imagine the joy when you ride one of them. Segways are being promoted in Assisi. This is why the best tours are planned on Segways. There are many tour operators who can offer you Segway tours and the best part about them is that they really invest their energies and dedication when it comes to planning the tourist for the tourists.
Segways occupy very little space that is why they can even tread in areas that are normally not visible. Segways are open and the entire design of the Segway is what makes your trip memorable. Segways also allow the group to move together whilst chit chatting and safe for children also. Considering Segways are not found in every part of the world, a
in Umbria is a must!
Piazza del Comune
The fountain is what you would see first. Followed by people chatting, lazing, children playing and lovers kissing! The fountain is the center point of the square. This is a place known in the world for its Biscotti. So once you are done sightseeing and tiring yourself out, this is one cobbled pathway in Assisi that can make you feel rejuvenated. Walk around, sit on the steps of the fountain, gelato the best and enjoying a glass of wine in the
Piazza del Commune
make it one of the best places to be in Assisi if ‘people watching’ is what you want. Though it may seem a bit superfluous to bring in so many details as seen, there cannot be a single person the Piazza does not bring joy to.
One side is flanked by long and strong pillars of what used to be the Minerva Temple and it has been preserved as such. On the other side of the town you could find an array of square ancient looking building that have been turned into minor and small museums, each exhibiting its own treasures. Have a coffee or the Spritz that this place is famous for when you sit down and relax in this Piazza which has been shut down for traffic so that the people can roam aimlessly and laze around. The tourist office is just funny. There is no board or signage that demarcates it as a tourist office. And the people have no tourism skills either. But you can still get a Wi-fi card for yourself. Check some of the stores in the area. There is one with the Italian Touring Club sign. Also the Margherita which sells awesome clothes, hats, shoes and jewelery! Merchandise from Milano, Paris and Firenze is easily available here. Done shopping and lazing around? Time for a good meal! And you have many options to choose from!
Tili Vini Winery
is located outside Assisi; the family welcomes you to their vineyards and makes sure that you have enough fun. You can share their historic legacy and understand the blend of the tour of the winemaking process. Apart from beautiful wines, they also produce Balsamic Vinegar. The Vineyard happens to be a twenty minute drive from the center of Assisi. Try being in this place before the noon sets in so that you can catch a breathtaking sunset on the way back. What is different about this Winery is that the wine produced here is organic which makes the process even more challenging. They also help you with servings of bread with olive oil, meats and cheese platters and delicious Cakes while you sample the wine.
The wine here is also available for purchase and they also ship to other countries if you do not want to increase the burden and weight of your baggage. So you just have to place an order and make the payment and they will have it delivered right at tour doorstep. Of course the samples are awesome and so are the souvenirs. Being a wonderful Italian experience, Assisi is true color of Italy presented to you.
Assisi is grand and warm and has just the right kind of activities that make it a wonderful vacation spent with your near and dear ones. Plan your visit and make sure that you try out all the best of the things in the city. Clicking pictures is a great way to save the memories so make sure you carry a good camera with you, for you to capture the beauty of this place.